Education and Training Requirements

High School

A high school diploma generally is a basic requirement for auctioneers. Classes in sales, mathematics, speech, art, art history, business, and economics are useful.

Postsecondary Training

Training for auctioneers is available at many schools across the country. Programs last from a few weeks to a few months. For a list of schools and programs, visit https://www.auctioneers.org/NAA/Education/Auction_Schools/NAA/Education/Auction_Schools.aspx.

Auctioneer training can involve appraising and item presentation, as well as speech classes so that auctioneers do not strain their voices while working long hours. Auctioneers who plan to concentrate on specific areas may take classes to supplement their training. Livestock and real estate auctions require specialized knowledge. In addition, some auctioneers have backgrounds in art or antiques.

Aspiring auctioneers may also train for the field by participating in an apprenticeship with an experienced auctioneer.

Other Education or Training

The National Auctioneers Association (NAA) offers continuing education courses, including online education, for auctioneers on topics such as ethics, advertising, auction law, and care of the voice.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

The NAA Education Institute offers the following professional designation programs to practicing auctioneers who meet its experiential, educational, and ethical standards: Certified Auctioneers Institute, Accredited Auctioneer Real Estate, Auction Marketing Management, Contract Auction Specialist, Benefit Auction Specialist, Certified Estate Specialist, Graduate Personal Property Appraiser, and Master Personal Property Appraiser.

Because they handle large sums of money, most auctioneers are bonded; however, licensing for auctioneers varies from state to state. More than 25 states require auctioneers to be licensed. Auctioneers who work in specialized areas, such as real estate and livestock, must conform to additional regulations. Those who sell land or buildings must be licensed real estate sales agents or brokers. Auctioneers should be familiar with laws and regulations in the states in which they practice.

Licensing requirements vary, so be sure to contact the licensing board for the state in which you would like to work for more information.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Try to obtain as much experience as possible in sales careers while in high school and college. Once you complete your auctioneering training it may take several years of part-time work before you obtain enough experience and build a reputation to transition into full-time work.

Auctioneers must be effective speakers. Their job is to command attention and interest in the items through the power of their voice and their personal manner and good humor. Auctioneers should have a great deal of stamina, since auctions often take place outdoors in warm weather and can last for many hours at a stretch. Auctioneers must also be alert so they can keep track of the crowd activity, the progress of the assistants, and the selling of the goods.

Because of all the deliberation that goes into preparing an auction, an auctioneer should like working with people. A keen sense of evaluation and an honest nature also are useful attributes.